Ella has been on a Wizard of Oz kick for a few months now, even holding her own Wizard of Oz-themed party, so it was only natural that for her cousin’s 2nd birthday she decided to whip up some special Over the Rainbow cupcakes.
Ella made her cupcakes one morning before school last week and it’s super dark here in the mornings, so the finished cupcakes you see are the ones she made, while the example cupcake is my attempt to show you the steps. Yup, she is definitely outperforming me in the cupcake decoration department (her Natural Strawberry-Vanilla cupcakes are another example.)
I got in a bit of trouble for not having “bluebird sprinkles” but I think I redeemed myself by suggesting we make little “pots o’gold” for the ends of the rainbows. You could alternatively use some sprinkles, Skittles, whatever fun surprise you would love to find at the end of a rainbow!
These Over the Rainbow Cupcakes are the perfect easy cupcake recipe for your child to make independently – or at least decorate independently. The nice thing about those “clouds of frosting” is that they are very forgiving and do not have to be perfect.
You can use any cupcake for the base of these – Ella insisted on a blue cupcake so we experimented and came up with a “blue velvet cupcake.”
Oh – and if you’re looking for St. Patrick’s Day recipes, my Guinness Cake Pops are a special treat for the grown-ups!
How to Make Blue Velvet Rainbow Cupcakes
Blue Velvet Cupcake Ingredients
- White sugar
- Eggs, room temperature
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Cocoa Powder
- Baking Soda
- Buttermilk <– I always have this powdered buttermilk in my fridge to make instant buttermilk whenever I need it.
- Blue food coloring <– this set of food coloring has lasted me forever and I love that it creates highly saturated colors with just a drop
Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients
Rainbow Cupcake Decorations
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: We already had the gold gel frosting in the fridge (for making Ella’s themed lunch boxes), but you can easily use a dab of the vanilla buttercream for the same purposes.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Electric mixer<– this is a great hand mixer if you don’t want to make the investment into a stand mixer
- Large mixing bowl
- Offset Spatula
- Cupcake pan
- Cupcake liners
- Cupcake scoop
- Cooling racks <– I have and love these tiered cooling racks, they save so much counter space and are also oven-safe
To Make the Blue Velvet Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin trays with cute liners.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
Make a paste with the food coloring and cocoa and add to butter-sugar mixture.
Use that same bowl to mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly, and then add the buttermilk and vinegar.
Do not overbeat the batter.
Add salt and flour with buttermilk.
Portion 1/3 cup of batter into your cupcake liners.
Bake 18-22 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes thoroughly before frosting.
To Make the Buttercream:
Cream the butter and 4 cups of the sugar together. Add the vanilla, and add more cream or sugar to achieve your desired consistency.
You can use a piping bag or an offset spatula to apply the frosting – we used a combination of both to experiment, but remember, clouds come in all shapes and sizes!
To Decorate the Rainbow Cupcakes:
Swirl the gold gel frosting onto the Rolo candies (or use a bit of vanilla buttercream if you’re not using the gel).
Sprinkle yellow sugar crystals generously over top of the gel and let set.
Place a Rolo candy on each cupcake towards the edge, securing it firmly with the vanilla buttercream “cloud.” Arc a small 3″ piece of the candy rainbow behind the candy, and you’re done!
Would you make these Over the Rainbow Cupcakes with your kids? (Would you use the blue velvet or a different cupcake recipe?)
For your convenience, I’ve included a free printable version of this recipe:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ounce royal blue gel paste food color
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- For the Buttercream:
- 1 cup butter
- 2-3 Tablespoons cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4-6 cups icing sugar
- For the decorations:
- 12 rolo candies
- Rainbow leather/gummy candy
- Gold or yellow sugar crystals
- Gold gel frosting, optional
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line your muffin trays with cute liners.
- Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
- Make a paste with the food coloring and cocoa and add to butter-sugar mixture.
- Use that same bowl to mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture slowly, and then add the buttermilk and vinegar.
- Do not overbeat the batter.
- Add salt and flour with buttermilk.
- Portion 1/3 cup of batter into your cupcake liners.
- Bake 18-22 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool cake thoroughly before frosting.
For the buttercream:
- Cream the butter and 4 cups of the sugar together. Add the vanilla, and add more cream or sugar to achieve your desired consistency.
- You can use a piping bag or an offset spatula to apply the frosting.
- For the rainbow embellishment:
- Top each Rolo candy with a bit of the gel frosting or buttercream. Dip into yellow sugar crystals.
- Place a Rolo candy on the edge of each cupcake and arc a 3" piece of rainbow leather behind it to form a rainbow with a pot of gold.
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Wilton Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack for Cookies, Cakes and More
Cookie Scoop Ice Cream Scoop Melon Scoop 18/8 Stainless Steel with Trigger Cupcake Scoops (#14)
AirHeads Xtremes Bites, Rainbow Berry, Party, 30.4 OZ Stand Up Bag
Wilton Gold Pearlized Sugar Sprinkles, 5.25 oz.
ROLO Chocolate Caramel Candy with Milk Chocolate Candy, Party Bag, 35.6 Oz
Wilton Icing Colors, 12-Count Gel-Based Food Color
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 888Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 359mgCarbohydrates: 182gFiber: 1gSugar: 166gProtein: 3g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
This post is part of the St Patrick’s Day Kids Activities Blog Hop hosted by Crafty Kids At Home. If you’d like to get some more St. Patrick’s-inspired crafts and activities for kids then check these out:
- St Patrick’s Day Preschool Potion Play from Crafty Kids at Home
- Rainbow Rainmaker from Mum in the Mad House
- Shamrock sun catcher craft from The Gingerbread House
- Rainbow Hearts Craft from Our Whimsical Days
- Shamrock Stones from Sunny Day Family
- Luck of the Irish Mickey Mouse Oreo Pops from Crafty Mama in ME
- Pot of Gold Number Mats from The Kindergarten Connection
- Rainbow Buttons Color Sorting & Craft Activity from Kidz Activities